Strong Social Media Campaign Key to Business Success

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By Angel MedFlight Contributor

More and more, social media is becoming one of the best ways for a business to interact with clientele. Of course nothing replaces face-to-face contact or a brief phone conversation, but when it comes to quick daily engagements, the utilization of  social media has become a necessary tool for any successful business.

One business that effectively utilizes many facets of social media is Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance in Scottsdale, Ariz. The company’s top social media outlet is Facebook. Since making its first post to Facebook in February 2009, the company’s  page”likes” have grown to near 16,000.

An effective Facebook campaign for any successful business means knowing your target audience and posting content that is engaging to them. For example, Angel MedFlight owns and maintains a fleet of air ambulance jets, so it often posts photos and trivia about its Learjets and the newest member of its  fleet, the Cessna Citation X.

Facebook allows the leader in worldwide medical transportation to educate people about the brand. If a hospital case manager shares a post from the company’s page, more and more people become aware of the company. The same can be said about patients who have used the service. Nothing helps to promote a company more than comments praising its service. A survey of the Angel MedFlight Facebook page shows  comments like: “First class organization!” and this one from a patient’s family member, “I would like to say thank you to the Angel MedFlight crew that helped save my little brother’s life.”

Nothing gets people’s attention more than video — a necessity for businesses wishing to give customers a window into the services it  provides. Angel MedFlight employs two videographers and has produced several videos and which have received over 600,000 views on its YouTube page. The videos range from the informational — giving viewers a tour of an air ambulance —  to compelling patient stories like the ones featured in the new “My Real Life Moment™” series, which debuted earlier this summer.

Twitter allows a business to get its message across in short 140-word bursts which can reach clients who may not be Facebook users. A tweet can alert followers to a new blog article or share an office photo that helps the public connect to the company in a more personal way. Twitter is also a good way to direct followers to news articles that may be of interest to the business’ customers. Proper use of hashtags is very important on Twitter as they help to categorize the message through certain keywords.

Hashtags are also a key component to posts on Instagram, yet another social media tool used by Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance. Instagram is used solely for distributing photos and mini-videos and is best pointed to a much younger demographic than Facebook or Twitter. Instagram is great platform for office photos, photos from flights and images and videos of the company’s fleet of jets.

There are many social media tools available to companies, but Facebook, Twitter, YouTube  and Instagram are the giants when it comes to engaging with customers and increasing brand awareness.

Angel MedFlight featured on Travel Channel Website

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By Angel MedFlight Contributor

At Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance, we take our patient’s stories to heart. That is why nothing gives us as much joy as hearing how our services change their lives.

Thursday, September 19th, we will be sharing a patient story with you via our social media pages including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The incredibly emotional story of Taylor Collins and her “My Real Life Moment ™.”  Taylor’s medical condition and personal circumstances grabbed the hearts of her high school friends and school community.  And it grabbed the heart of the entire Angel MedFlight team.

We started to tell our community friends about Taylor’s story. When our video team flew to Florida to document her journey and her high school community’s support – our friends at the Travel Channel wanted to share the story as well. THEY were also touched by the efforts of friends and family to get Taylor the medical attention and financial support she needed to move forward in her life.

Travel Channel is featuring Taylor’s story on the “Airport 24/7 Miami” website. We are extremely proud to be a part of this effort to bring “My Real Life Moment™” to the nation’s attention and support the real need for air ambulance services that deliver critical care to patients and their families at critical junctures on their healing journey.

A Company Project Gets a Personal Touch

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By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Coming together as a team is something we do well at Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance. When something needs a little extra effort to be done quickly and efficiently, we get our team of employees together and take care of the task. That happened this weekend on a large mailing project.

A leader in worldwide air medical transports, Angel MedFlight has an important relationship with hospital case managers that we diligently maintain. One of the ways we stay connected with these case managers is through our mailings. This mailing was to touch base with case managers and directors of case management after meeting with them at national conferences  this summer. Cooper Bolton, Angel MedFlight’s graphics designer, had a large role in “the mailer” as we call it and says  about 1800 mailing kits needed to be sent out.

That meant diligently assembling 1800 folders, filling them with Angel MedFlight literature, and then placing the assembled folders into addressed envelopes. It was important for us to send out folders that had literature placed neatly into the envelopes and to have those envelopes addressed by hand. Bolton says handwriting the address gave the mailer a more personal feel to it.

Last week, an office-wide email was sent out asking for volunteers to help this weekend with the mailer. Bolton says about 20 eager volunteers showed up to help. The crew worked from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday adding the contents to the folder. The folder included a letter from our CEO Jeremy Freer, five brochures, a punch-out Rolodex card, a case manager guide, note pad, business card, mouse pad and a poster.  The Angel MedFlight poster was the newest addition to the packet. This 20″ x 28″ glossy poster is meant to be hung in hospital case manager break rooms and reminds case managers to “Call Us First.” What’s especially personal about the poster is the original idea for it was posed to us by a director of case management during a regional conference we exhibited at recently.

Bolton says there was an assembly line set up in one of the larger rooms in the office and each person in the line added a piece of literature to the folder. The completed folder was then placed into an addressed envelope and into a bin. At the end of Saturday most of the mailers were completed. On Sunday, our crack staff finished up a few of the remaining packets and then reviewed the envelopes for quality assurance.

With so many employees coming in on the weekend to help, the mailing kit project was done in about 12 hours. Sure, the job could have been outsourced, but at Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance we strive to exceed expectations. By keeping the project in-house, case managers will notice the extra care that was taken to assemble and mail it. Doing things with extra care and personal touch comes easy to us at Angel MedFlight.

Angel MedFlight Answers: What Aircraft Do You Use?

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Angel MedFlight Learjet 60 Air Ambulance

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

When you choose Angel MedFlight as your air ambulance provider, you are not only putting your trust in our highly trained medical flight crews and experienced pilots, but our ARGUS Platinum-rated aircraft as well. In this edition of Angel MedFlight Answers, we address some of the questions you may have about the aircraft as you consider a medical flight.

Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance utilizes a fleet of Learjets and soon, the Cessna Citation X for its medical flights. Angel MedFlight is a dba. of Aviation West Charters, which owns, operates and meticulously maintains this fleet of state-of-the-art medically dedicated jets. Two-pilot crews operate all our aircraft.

We have our own air charter certificate (Part 135) and that allows us to control the quality of the aircraft we operate. Our planes have advanced avionics and safety features that exceed FAA standards. On the flight deck,  captains and first officers undergo semi-annual and annual simulator training in make and model aircraft being flown. They each maintain 1st-class medical certificates and complete FAA checkrides.

As you consider an air medical transport with Angel MedFlight, you probably wonder which aircraft will be used for your flight.

A number of factors go into deciding that including the patient’s condition, the length of the flight and the number of passengers traveling with the patient. All of the aircraft are equipped with the same life-sustaining medical equipment and experienced medical flight crews.

How many family members can travel with the patient depends on the aircraft being used. The Angel MedFlight Learjet 35s and 60s can accommodate one to two passengers, while larger aircraft like the longer-range Citation X can seat as many as four family members. The Citation X is the newest member of the fleet and after receiving a number of upgrades and modifications, the airplane is now in Wichita, KS., where it’s  getting a sparkling new paint job.

How much luggage can patients and passengers bring? Because of the amount of space being utilized by onboard medical equipment and personnel there is generally room for no more than two small carry-on type pieces of luggage. Because of  the space limitations, we will make arrangements to ship other luggage and non-essentials for the patient and the family members.

Adding to the patient and passenger comfort, catered meals are offered when there are no diet restrictions for flights 3.5 hours and longer. We will accommodate special diets and special requests. Also remember that the entire fleet of jets will soon be equipped with Wi-Fi  so you can catch up on emails and surf the net during the medical flight.

An air medical transport with Angel MedFlight means you can always feel confident the jet carrying you or your loved one is customized with the patient’s utmost safety, comfort and care in mind.

Going Long: The International Medical Flights

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An Angel MedFlight Learjet 60

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

The medical flight crews are called and dispatched to the sending facility. The bedside-to-bedside service begins as the flight nurse and flight paramedic meet the patient. The pilots have the jet prepped for the medical flight. This trip takes not one set of pilots but two. Angel MedFlight is making one of its many international flights, exemplifying its true global reach.

Auf dem Galata-Turm (li. Goldenes Horn, Mitte Taksim, re. Bosporus)

Istanbul, Turkey

A recent Angel MedFlight trip took a passenger from California to Turkey.  One of our Learjet 60s was used for the 7,383-mile trek  into Istanbul. As one would imagine, it takes a little more planning for an international flight.  Special landing permits are needed to touch down in other nations and Angel MedFlight flight coordinator Stacey Barnard says, “that typically takes 48 to 72 hours.”

This particular trip needed two pilot crews because  of FAA regulations. Barnard says the pilots can fly for only 14 hours a day and this trip needed a fuel stop after every 2,000 miles. When the medical flight touched down for refueling in Ireland, a fresh crew was waiting to take over. The first crew stayed in Ireland and rested, ready to take over for the second crew on the trip back.

Angel MedFlight is proud of its reputation as a worldwide air ambulance company. Its jets have flown to six continents.  Another recent medical flight helped a vacationer get back to the U.S. from a remote location in Peru, where she had to undergo emergency surgery. That was a trip of over 4,200 miles.

Angel MedFlight recently acquired a Citation X, a longer-range and faster aircraft. In fact, when the Citation X is ready for its first medical transport this summer it will be the fastest air ambulance in its class. “The X” as we like to call it around the office, can cruise at 51,000 feet and rocket through the air at almost 700 miles per hour, which is just shy of the sound barrier.

The Citation X is currently undergoing modifications and when completed will have improved avionics and winglets. Those upturned edges on the wings translates into more speed, better fuel efficiency and a better time-to-climb ratio. Flight Operations Director Brandon Kearns says the winglets “improve the operational efficiency of the airplane and increases its actual range capability.” This aircraft is also being equipped with satellite Wi-Fi  so no matter where the airplane is around the globe it will have internet connectivity. Angel MedFlight will soon have its entire fleet of jets Wi-Fi ready.

With offices in Arizona, Angel MedFlight is not a Phoenix air ambulance but a worldwide leader in the medical flight industry. Our crews will fly to virtually all ends of the earth to deliver  our exceptional patient care.

Connected In The Sky

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By Angel MedFlight Contributor

You know how frustrating it can be to climb into an airplane and be told by the flight attendant it’s time to power off all electronic devices.  For without Wi-Fi, that can mean hours without being connected to the outside world. That loss of connectivity is a thing of the past with Angel MedFlight and our Part 135 charter holder Aviation West Charters. Soon, our entire fleet of jets will be wired for internet access.

Aviation West Charters dba Angel MedFlight owns and maintains a fleet of aircraft that includes Learjets plus the newest addition to our fleet, the Citation X. The latest of our jets to be Wi-Fi ready is the Learjet N160AJ which is due out of maintenance Friday.

Brandon Kearns is Director of Flight Operations and says having all of our planes Wi-Fi equipped has many benefits noting that patients and their families plus charter passengers will be able to do work, coordinate with their home office and send and receive emails. “They’ll be able to receive time critical information and never be out of reach,” says Kearns. “Whether they’re on the ground or in flight, they’re going to always be able to stay connected. It’s like creating an environment of a mobile office.”

For Angel MedFlight air ambulance transports, Wi-Fi will not only give flight nurses added connectivity with our flight coordinators and Medical Director on the ground, but offer an added convenience to their families.

How does a jet cruising anywhere from 400 to almost 700 miles per hour keep a Wi-Fi signal? Kearns says it’s similar to the same technology that we use every day in our cars. But our jets have two types of Wi-Fi systems. First, they have the ground-based system which works off towers (similar to how your  smartphone connects to the 3G or 4G networks). The jets also have satellite Wi-Fi which is used mostly for international flights when the aircraft is out over the ocean.

Along with having Wi-Fi added, Kearns says our Learjet N160AJ has been undergoing the mandatory required maintenance that the airplanes “must have under our strict maintenance program, ensuring the safety of the airplane.”

The Citation X is also Wi-Fi equipped and is in the process of getting other modifications as well including avionics and increased performance capabilities. This aircraft will get the winglet mod which Kearns says “improves the operational efficiency of the airplane in terms of fuel burn and increases the actual range capabilities.”

“Adding Wi-Fi to our fleet of jets not only benefits patients but makes our entire operation more efficient,” says Angel MedFlight Chief Operating Officer Ratislav “Rusty” Valko. Kearns says the new Wi-Fi capability benefits the pilots and allows medical crews to be able to relay time-critical patient information in real time.

Wi-Fi connectivity for patients in need of critical care is another example of how Angel MedFlight, a Phoenix air ambulance company with worldwide reach, is always working to improve how we care for our patients.

Heading Toward Another Milestone

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Screenshot of the first post on Angel MedFlight’s Facebook Page, February 2009.

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

February 13, 2009 is a date that doesn’t stand out for any particular reason to most people, but for Angel MedFlight’s marketing team it was the birth of something big. On that winter day almost four and a-half years ago, the Angel MedFlight Facebook page was born. It began with baby steps, but now the child is all grown up and our Facebook page is quickly approaching 14,000 likes.

Launched in May 2004, Facebook had around 200 million active users by the Spring of 2009. Today that number is estimated at over 1.1 billion. When Angel MedFlight launched its Facebook page the social media site’s boom had just begun. As word spread about our air ambulance service and our patented One Touch Promise®, our Facebook community began to grow.

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Screenshot of Angel MedFlight’s Facebook page after reaching 1,000 page likes in January 2010.

Looking back at our Facebook history is like opening up the trunk in the attic and waxing nostalgic. Our posts looked somewhat different back then as we learned what you liked to see most. In January of 2010 — two big milestones — our first post to get double-digit likes. The post heralded passing the 1,000 fans mark.

As the company grew so did the number of medical flights. And almost a year into having a Facebook presence we began to let our readers know on a regular basis where our patient transports had taken us. For instance, in January 2010 we told you about a transport from Houston to Aiken, South Carolina. Ten likes. A week later, a patient transport from Florida to Illinois — 12 likes. February 17, 2010 we let you know  about a 3,630-mile transport from Hawaii to Wichita Falls, Texas — 15 likes. The Facebook presence was picking up speed.

By the summer of 2010 there were more photos on the page. We learned our Facebook friends enjoyed seeing more of the worldwide locations we fly to along with our appearances at trade shows, national conferences and charity events.  June 8, 2010 we posted an album of “Photos from the Flight Crews” and we were thrilled to see that album receive 158 likes and 21 comments.  By the spring of 2011 the double-digit likes for individual posts were commonplace and our Facebook presence was established.

As the months passed, we added regular features, like employee profiles, trivia questions, links to our blogs and one of the fan favorites, aviation facts.

Today as we draw closer to 14,000 Facebook friends, we want to thank all of you for engaging us there. We hope that our Facebook page has helped you learn more about our company and our commitment to providing the best patient care in the air ambulance industry. Now, it’s full-throttle to 15k.

Can Touch This!

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Screenshot from the Angel MedFlight touchscreen

By Angel MedFlight Contributor

Always innovative, Angel MedFlight will be debuting a new piece of equipment at the upcoming Case Management Society of America national conference in New Orleans. Angel MedFlight’s Chief Creative Officer Barry Keyles tells us more about it.

Keyles: We will be introducing a touchscreen kiosk to our booth at CMSA. It’s a touchscreen kiosk that has information on the company, all our recent videos including patient stories. It’s  also going to have a fun thing where case managers can take their picture and be part of our flight crew. We have a cutout of our flight crew and you can hit a button on the touchscreen and then you walk behind the cutout of the flight crew and it will take your picture. You can then email it to people.

Angel MedFlight: Why have a touchscreen?

Keyles: We wanted to make something interactive, something that people can make their own decisions with. We’ve had in the past just videos up on the monitor, slide shows and photo shows. But now we wanted to give what the people wanted — let them decide what they want to see. You’ll be able to see our latest patient stories if you want, you can read our latest brochure and flip through the information at your own pace.

Angel MedFlight: What all went in to building the touchscreen?

Keyles: The touchscreen is a 42″ monitor and then we had to build and attach a microcomputer to run the software. The kiosk is custom-built software designed and  programmed by me. The movies are done by our videographer and the brochure is an electronic brochure that we’ve done in an interactive magazine style format. You will be able to actually flip the pages. It’s such a large touchscreen you can manipulate the pages with your fingers and flip them over.

Angel MedFlight: How does a touchscreen work?

Keyles: This one is an optical touchscreen. What it does is it has sensors in the side of the frame that actually sense where your fingers are. And it is a multi-touch so you can touch in different areas and it senses more than one or two touches. It’s very similar to your smartphone in that you can pinch and zoom. It’s pretty much interactive and it acts like a mouse but it’s your hand using it.

Angel MedFlight: Looking more into the future of touchscreens, what are some added features you are looking to add on down the road?

Keyles: One of the features we definitely want to add is a way to record video of the case managers themselves. We want them to tell their stories to us so we can either show them either on our website or blog when we get back.

 

Angel MedFlight To Make New Orleans Trip

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By Angel MedFlight Contributor

It’s that time again when Angel MedFlight rekindles old friendships and makes new ones. We are packing up the marketing materials and giveaway items and heading to the Crescent City. The world’s leading air ambulance service is jetting to New Orleans next week for the Case Management Society of America’s national conference.

“We are excited to put names to faces in the industry and meet new case managers,” says Jackie Martinez, who heads Angel MedFlight’s business development team. She’s also looking forward to meeting with case managers with whom the company has built a solid relationship with over the years. Case managers are often the link between a patient and Angel MedFlight’s bedside-to-bedside service and we work hard to simplify the process for them.

Martinez says, “Instead of case managers having to call the insurance companies and look for coverage for an air ambulance transport and see what is available, all you have to do is give us a call and our flight coordinators handle it all for you from A to Z.” Martinez says our flight coordinators know all the right questions to ask when they call the insurance companies and our clinical liaisons will write the letters of medical necessity.  Our flight coordinators are “calling the physician’s office, they’re calling the sending and receiving facilities, they’re dealing with the FBOs, they’re dealing with every detail of the flight.”

“I think a lot of people have heard of Angel MedFlight but we want to let them know what’s behind the brand and let them know that we are, what I consider, the best in the industry,” says Martinez.

The CMSA national conference also gives Angel MedFlight an opportunity to tell case managers about our newest aircraft, the Citation X, which is the world’s fastest civilian aircraft in its class. This jet allows Angel MedFlight to transport patients faster than ever before and facilitates travel to Hawaii, Africa and the Middle East. Speaking of Hawaii, Martinez wants all in attendance to stop by our booth and enter to win a free trip for two to Hawaii.  While at the booth, make sure to also check out our new touchscreen kiosk and have a photo taken of yourself as a member of our flight crew.

Martinez says it’s important for the company to exhibit at the CMSA national conference in order to get feedback. “We love to hear a case manager that comes up to us and says they’ve used us before. The first question we ask is ‘How was that experience? Because that is top-notch information and it can help us to constantly improve.”

If you will be attending the CMSA national conference in New Orleans, make certain to stop by the Angel MedFlight exhibit booth to enter the contest for the free trip to Hawaii along with great giveaways that include designer tote bags and premium cosmetics. We’ll see you in the Big Easy!

Know The Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses

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By Angel MedFlight Contributor

As the nation sizzles under the summer heat, it’s good to get a refresher course on heat-related illnesses and ways to prevent. them. The offices for Angel MedFlight are in Scottsdale, Ariz., where summer temps often push the mercury up to 110 degrees and beyond. Other parts of the nation as well are bound to get extreme heat this summer and it’s important to know if you or someone you know is overheating. Too much heat can be fatal.

It’s important to know right off the bat that those at the greatest risk for heat-related illness are infants and children up to four years of age and people 65 or older. People who are overweight, ill or on certain medications are also at a higher risk.

When the body heats up, it sweats to cool itself off. But under certain conditions sweating isn’t enough and that’s when our body temperature starts to rise rapidly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs. In high humidity, sweat doesn’t evaporate as quickly and that prevents the body from releasing heat quickly.

Know the signs of heat stroke, the most serious heat-related illness. The CDC says heat stroke occurs when the body becomes unable to control its temperature. The body’s sweating mechanism fails and the body can’t cool down. Heat stroke can lead to permanent disability and even death.

The CDC says warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include an extremely high body temperature (above 103°F), red, hot and dry skin with no sweating; a rapid, strong pulse; throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion and unconsciousness.

If you see any of these signs, have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin to cool the victim. Get the victim to a shady area and start cooling the person rapidly. Try getting the victim into a tub of cool water or place the person in a cool shower. Even spraying the person with a garden hose will help. If the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan the person vigorously.

The CDC recommends monitoring the victim’s body temperature until it drops to 101-102°F. Do not give the victim any alcohol to drink and seek medical assistance as soon as possible.

While not as severe as heat stroke, heat exhaustion is another heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures without replenishing the body with adequate and balanced fluids. Who is most prone to heat exhaustion? Elderly people, those with high blood pressure and people who work or exercise in a hot environment.

The warning signs for heat exhaustion include dizziness, nausea or vomiting, heavy sweating, muscle cramps, paleness, weakness and fainting. The victim may also experience tiredness and muscle cramps. The victim’s skin may be cool and most and their pulse rate will be fast and weak. Breathing will be rapid and shallow. Heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke so it’s important to seek medical attention if the symptoms worsen or last longer than one hour.

In order to cool the body during heat exhaustion the CDC recommends drinking cool, nonalcoholic beverages, taking a cool shower, bath or sponge bath, resting and getting into an air-conditioned area wearing lightweight clothing.

Many people will continue to work or play in extreme heat, thinking perhaps they are immune to a heat-related illness. Best not to chance it. Know the warning signs and keep cool this summer. Drink plenty of fluids, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty. Angel MedFlight Worldwide Air Ambulance wants you to have a happy and healthy summer.

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